Is this burnout?

  1. LDRP is the only nursing I have ever done. I used to love everything about it. Over the last 5 years it seems as though the patients are different. Perhaps I really am jaded, but the trends of more drug use, 5th baby daddy, teen pregnancy, and psych issues have made for a more difficult time of enjoying my job and bonding with patient. It seems like 1 out of 10 patients is a happy couple, ready to love a child! I no longer have the passion that I had when I started, and I feel lost without it, because this was the only aspect of nursing I ever wanted to do.
    Is this burnout? Is there something I can do to feel better, or should I look to other aspects of the nursing profession?
  2. Visit NellieRN10 profile page

    About NellieRN10

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 17; Likes: 14
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in LDRP, Pediatrics, Women's Health


  3. by   anggelRN
    Eh, every patient population brings its own challenges and concerns. I don't try to worry too much about the personal lives of my pts. (I certainly notice it). I just don't dwell on the negative. It would drive me crazy. I just do the best I can for them while they are under my care.

    I don't think this is burnout per se, but a reality of nursing. Maybe you could work doing something else like teaching childbirth classes or something that,would take you away from the bedside temporarily.
  4. by   nurse42long
    You may need to change hospitals. It's possible the patient mix at your facility is skewed to what your seeing. Maybe you can find a private hospital in a more affluent neighborhood, where the mix is more married or older couples. The suggestion of teaching childbirth classes is a good idea, or working as a doula might give you a different perspective.
  5. by   somenurse
    Quote from nurse42long
    You may need to change hospitals. It's possible the patient mix at your facility is skewed to what your seeing. Maybe you can find a private hospital in a more affluent neighborhood, where the mix is more married or older couples. The suggestion of teaching childbirth classes is a good idea, or working as a doula might give you a different perspective.

    ^this is a good idea if you are allowing judgemental attitudes to interfere with being able to serve people of various walks of life, or who you deem as not doing what you what you think you would do in their shoes. Your attitude, your inner response, is not mandated by what is in front of you, it's really not. Your attitude is your choice, it really is.

    Inner peace isn't the lack of troubles around you, it is being able to have a calm heart despite troubles. Peace comes from within you, not from having everything just the way you think things should be.

    Your attitude is the one thing you can control, and only you can control it, no one else. If you can not find compassion for maybe the most needy or most vulnerable among us, maybe this post is right, maybe someone like you would be happier caring for wealthier people.
    but, poor people, and people who make what seem like very poor choices, and people who are not that clever, are all over-represented in every hospital, so not sure switching hospitals would really help avoid them.

    It really really helps, if one can put down the judgemental attitudes. Not always easy to do, but, if you can work on that, it makes your day easier. Finding some way to care/connect/view everyone as part of humanity,
    or, at the least, let it go, might do a world of good for you. Not always easy to do, but wow, if you can do that, wow, that'd help tons.

    edit, if you watch clusterfox news, that can contribute to having a judgmental attitude, too, maybe take a year off of faux news, too, as part of your efforts, worth a shot, anyway.
    Last edit by somenurse on Feb 10, '13
  6. by   NellieRN10
    Thanks Jean Marie46514 on helping me view it a different way. I try very hard to be non-judgemental, but lately, it has been very hard sending these babies home fearing you may see them as the next shaken baby in the news. We've also had many psych patients lately that have been making some of the nurses on our unit cry and refuse to have them again-this never seemed to happen before.

    I guess I do just need to focus on the present, and remember what a privilege it is to be a part of such a momentous occasion, no matter who they are! Maybe I just needed to take a big breath and have some help to see it differently.
    Thanks for the differing perspectives!
  7. by   somenurse
    It is hard to deal with psyche patients, i understand. Psyche is not my strong suite, either. I also work to maintain compassion for some patients, i hope i, in no way, came off as righteous. If i did, i apologize. I think each and every nurse, has to struggle to dig inside to find ways now and then, to find our compassion, or, find a way to let it go/not eat us inside, now and then.

    Maybe you might find a job at Planned Parenthood could also help you feel fulfilled, feel that fire again that you described, as that place offers the two things proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies---low cost, easy access birth control, and, education.
    Not that pysche patients do not want to be pregnant, no, not my point, but, many teens don't really 'want' to become pregnant, and maybe, your having seen so so many teens becoming parents while still kids themselves, might instill a passion for helping kids realize, Every time, use birth control, if you are going to be sexually active, use protection! kinda thing, who knows, might be a fire in you for this type of service.
    I worked at a planned parenthood for a while, loved it, reeeally felt i was helping so many. I have a soft spot for teens, always have, i see them as large sized kids in a way. As humans continue to evolve, due to changes in our diet and nutrition, NOW the female human now begins to menstruate at about age 11 or so nowadays.............. but, only 1 or 2 generations ago, these same girls' grandmothers, did not menstruate til about age 18.

    big change in our species in only 1 or 2 generations, eh?

    And often with the onset of menses, comes many of the urges and feelings brought on by hormones, far far earlier than they are emotionally or intellectually developed to deal with. I think education and birth control are even more crucial in today's world than ever before, imo.

    anyway, if you really do need a breather, maybe Planned Parenthood might be a place where you could bring an understanding of what is at stake for young kids who are more careless about their gonads than they should be. Or even volunteering.
    for real,
    for me, anyway, whenever i feel dry inside, i always get renewed again,
    by volunteering.

    I volunteer in many kinds of orgs, from dogs to politics to poverty centers to community centers of all kinds to helping the blind, or oldsters (i also love oldsters) or teens at risk, to environmental groups. I find volunteering to be a very selfish thing, really, i get more out of it, than i am ever able to give. This might be something else to consider trying, to "rejuice" your own heart, for YOUR benefit.

    I know, i know, it makes no sense, here you are--tired, struggling to cope with things in front of you, and here i am, saying "do more!" it makes no sense, but, for real, volunteering is so beneficial to stressed out people!! It's NOT like your job, i promise.
    whatever is your passion,
    be it dogs or babies at risk or politics or old people or poverty stricken people or your towns historical groups or whatever, find a group involved in your passion, and go there, pitch in, and see what happens inside your own heart. Worth a shot, anyway, cuz keeping one's heart soft can take actual effort now and then, especially when onslaughts of trials come along.

    good luck!!
    Last edit by somenurse on Feb 11, '13
  8. by   AZMOMO2
    I agree, sounds more like need a change of location. Birthing center perhaps?
  9. by   obnurse1245
    I started getting burned out about 2.5 years after graduated. LDRP was all I knew as a nurse, and it's all I've ever wanted to do. I started traveling then, and have been traveling for just over two years. I love my job much more now. A change in location definitely helps.
  10. by   AspiringNurseMW
    Hi, im just now starting my prereqs and originally wanted to do l&d but because of the things you mentioned and more ive adjusted my goal to becoming a midwife so i can practice in a birthing center or do homebirths.... then most of those factors you mentioned pretty much disappears.
  11. by   Bama RN
    I know exactly where you're coming from. I found myself feeling that I was on the edge of being burned out, frustrated with my facility, the way the physician's practiced, and the patients themselves. I worked in a very low socio-economic area, and it was not uncommon to have "tweens" as well as "teens" with multiple pregnancies...the families applauded it, the girls thought it was "cool", and furthering their own lives and education was not actively encouraged. The patients were not educated in the offices, and so they came in every night thinking their water broke or having ligament pains. All of the nurses would slap on a happy face, and grumble when they left the room. It was contagious, and I found myself doing the same thing. I was really debating rather I wanted to keep dealing with the "ignorance" as I called it, and then one day, it hit me. These were the patients that needed me most...these were the girls that I really could do more for besides just be a part of their "special day".

    I made a point to get to know these girls, their stories, and try to find out as much as I could so that I would be better able to educate them on everything from the normals of pregnancy to birth control options. I had to get over my idea of what being professional was and understand that sometimes, being professional was explaining things in slang terms that a 15 year old boyfriend would "get'. These patients become the ones I would volunteer for, and these girls made me feel more rewarded than any other patient possibly could. When these girls hugged me and told me thank you, requested me, or run up to me to show me their baby and tell me what they were doing if they saw me around made me absolutley beam with pride and satisfaction. I know I helped these girls by being what they needed when they were going through this.

    I moved later, and the hospital I worked at had a completely different client base, and I found myself actually less satisfied there, and I volunteered for the ones that come from the wrong side of town. I would much rather have them any day!!!!